Written by Scott Greggory
Wednesday, 16 June 2010 00:00
(This article was published by MotorTrend.)
In a 2008 Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll, Americans cited gasoline prices as the economic woe that most affected them. The Car Care Council warns that putting off vehicle care and maintenance can make matters worse. Proper vehicle maintenance will increase miles per gallon.
“The best way to fight higher costs at the gas pump is to keep your vehicle running properly. You can't control the price of gas, but you can control how much gas you burn by proper maintenance and how you drive,” said Rich White, Executive Director, Car Care Council. “Performing simple and inexpensive maintenance can save as much as $1,200 a year in gas costs.”
Here are seven gas-saving maintenance and driving tips:
- Check your vehicle gas cap. About 17% of the vehicles on the road today have gas caps that are either damaged, loose, or missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
- When tires aren't inflated properly, it's like driving with the parking brake on, and that can cost you a mile or two per gallon.
- A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced regularly.
- Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%, saving you about 15 cents on each gallon.
- Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 22% on the highway and 5% on city streets, which can cost you seven to 49 cents per gallon.
- Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
- Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mph driven over 60 results in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, use cruise control.